What to Cook for the Kids When They Decide to Become Vegan

I was asked some weeks back for ideas on what to cook for children/teenagers once they decide they want to become vegan. I don’t think there is one easy answer to this as it really does depend on what the individual child/teenager likes to eat but that is actually a good place to start.

You will know what your child/teenager likes to eat and from that there are two paths you can take.

One: Try to replicate the dishes that they loved but make them vegan. For some this might not work as they will miss the meat but for others they may well love it. Some examples of this path are putting lentils or crumbled soy or tempeh in a spaghetti sauce to replicate the mince. Or making vegan sausage rolls instead of meat ones, or vegan meat pies using tofu or lentils. Or Mexican beans instead of Mince or Vegan mayonnaise instead of egg mayonnaise or bean burgers instead of beef burgers and the list goes on.

Two: Don’t worry about replicating the meat in meals they loved but make really delicious dishes that you know they will like. For example, nut roast balls or rice balls or pesto pasta – which traditionally was vegan or dhal and rice or kidgeree which has always been vegan or a vegetable curry or a Minestrone soup with pasta.

I feel the vast majority of children/teenagers like pasta so in this week’s blog post, I will share a few pasta recipes with you and will continue on next week with a great Mexican dish as I feel a lot of children/teenagers also like Mexican.

In addition here are a few tips on making it easier for you to have food in the fridge that your children/teenagers may like. You may need to involve them in the cooking, as this will halve your time in the kitchen.

  1. Make a mayonnaise at the beginning of the week so they have something to add to salads etc. Or you can make a Caesar dressing for which I will share the recipe with you in a few weeks time.
  2. Have a dip in the fridge that your children can go to for snacks. Hummus can be a good one. So can a guacamole (that would need to be made fresh each day though). The pea guacamole lasts 4 or 5 days in the fridge.
  3. Make burgers or nut balls and have them in your freezer so you can easily take them out to defrost.
  4. If your children like quiche or frittata you can use tofu crumbled instead of the eggs and just add all your favourite fillings and some lemon juice to give it a bit of a tang.
  5. The egg mayonnaise is great for those who loved egg sandwiches.
  6. And for parties or those special occasions, try some vegan sausage rolls. To make it much easier you can buy the shop bought puff pastry. There are plenty of recipes for these online and I do have a good recipe for them and it looks like that will be in a blog post sometime soon also.
  7. To add a cheese flavour to things you can add nutritional yeast.

Spaghetti Lentilnaise


10 medium tomatoes diced
1 brown onion diced fine
4 cloves garlic minced
1 bunch basil or oregano chopped finely
1 green capsicum diced
1 zucchini diced
6 mushrooms sliced
2 cups cooked puy lentils
1 tsp salt or to taste
Pepper or chilli
1/2 tsp herb salt
Cold pressed olive oil

100g your choice of dry spaghetti per person

Pepita sprinkle

1 cup pepitas  
½ cup nutritional yeast

In a saucepan place the tomatoes and salt and let them come to a boil. Once boiling and it looks like the tomatoes are breaking down remove the lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Place the oil onion and garlic with the herb salt in a frying pan and fry for a few minutes; next add the herbs and fry again for a few minutes then add the green capsicum for a few more minutes then the zucchini and mushrooms and fry for a final 5 minutes.  Add the veggies to the tomatoes and simmer until vegetables are cooked through, season with salt, pepper and chilli.

Meanwhile make the sprinkle by grinding the pepitas and nutritional yeast in a food processor.

Place the water to boil for the spaghetti and cook as packet instructs.

Once vegetables are cooked through add the cooked lentils and mix. Drizzle in some more olive oil, another 1 tbsp maybe, up to you.  Serve with the cooked spaghetti and pepita sprinkle.

Pesto Pasta


1 cup of macadamia nuts or pine nuts or sunflower seeds
2 cups of basil
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Water to thin
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves of boiled garlic (boil this for up to 10 minutes or until soft- I leave the skin on)
2 to 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional – I don’t use for pesto but many do)


100 to 150 grams gluten free pasta per person depending on how big an eater you are
1 tomato diced
300g mushrooms sliced or diced
¼ cup of the cooking water from the pasta
Splash of olive oil
Sprinkle of your choice

For the pesto sauce make this in a food processor by pulsing the nuts or seeds first until quite fine than add the basil and garlic and blitz again, then the rest of the ingredients. I add water to thin the pesto to spread over pasta.

For the pasta bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil then add the pasta, stir and cook for the time it says on the packet. Meanwhile cook the mushrooms in a splash of olive oil, remove from the pan when cooked and cook the tomato till nice and soft. When pasta is cooked reserve a ¼ cup of the cooking water and add this to the pesto. Strain the pasta and mix through the pesto, mushrooms and tomato. Serve with a nut or seed sprinkle.

Walnut sauce

This is a sauce to run through pasta and acts as a creamy sauce. So I recommend adding whatever veggies you like to cook with pasta to this sauce. I love mushrooms, zucchini and spinach.

1 cup walnuts
½ cup boiling water
2 boiled garlic cloves
½ cup of soy or almond milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 to 2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth. If this sauce looks too thin don’t worry it will thicken up in 15 minutes or so. If it looks too thick add more soy or almond milk.

The Vegan Foundation Course Getting Better and Better

It’s been a big month for me with catering on a workshop, two big retreats and teaching a three-day Vegan Foundation Course.  The course was a week ago now and it was fabulous. I love how eight people come together and cook so harmoniously in the kitchen. The food created was sensational. I find the course is just getting better and better. The March Foundation Course marked the 21st time I have run this course and I love that I can still evaluate my facilitation and do things better each time. I am so grateful to my twelve years as a schoolteacher which gave me the skills to keep evaluating.

The April Foundation Course starts in 16 days (5th to 7th of April) and I have a few places left. I know its not far away but it is still possible to book into the course, book flights, accommodation (I can help you with giving you a list of local accommodation possibilities) and come and do this three day life changing cooking course. I would love to have you along.  

If its too soon for you to come along in April there is one place left in the May course. Then I wont be running the course again until August so really the April course is perfect opportunity to taking your cooking to the next level.

Have a great week everyone
Love Veet

Categories:Snacks/Sides Kids Meals

Tags:Pasta pasta sauce Walnuts sunflower seeds

Share This Post:

Related Posts